With a move to the Otways and a new Pelican obsession, expect feathers at this seasons Finders Keepers from artist Pete Cromer! We chat to Pete on his ongoing windy journey as a creator and an artist and how he describes his process as bit of a seesaw!
Don’t forget you can also catch Pete live on stage for chinwags with frankie
this Sunday at 11:30am!
You’ve been a crowd favourite at Finders Keepers for some years now! Tell us about your journey as an artist and how your work or style has developed over the years.
My journey has been a bit of windy road. I have always been heading in a creative direction, but before I established myself as an artist I worked as a graphic designer and then as a creative manager for years. The itch to break out of those careers was always there, and one day I woke up and just quit my job and starting doing artworks that felt honest and right by me.
My style is expression through use of simple colour and shapes. That’s how I communicate; that’s how I see the world.
What do you love about living in Victoria’s beautiful Otway Ranges and how does it inspire your work?
I just moved down here to the Colac Otway region about 6 months ago. LOVE IT. I’m in adventure mode at the moment. I am finding it peaceful and calming on my life. My house overlooks a lake and I am constantly inspired by the birdlife in the water…it’s amazing. I’ve become obsessed with pelicans. lol
Your work includes bold collages, paintings and sculptures and is well known for signature bursts of glowing colour! How do you consistently come up with such a diverse range of designs and what is your creative process?
The process starts with the shapes first, layering and moving around a basic and unpainted layout first. I then add paint to the shapes whilst painting bits of scrap paper on the side. These are back-ups pieces that I can refer to and cut out more shapes of later on.
Everything is a bit of a seesaw process between the use of colour and shape. I always try and challenge my use of colour and experiment.
You’re launching your new “Zoo” animal range at Finders Keepers! Sounds super fun and we need to know more!
OMG, it is super fun! But I am nowhere near finished the range. Agh! I got side-tracked with black swans and pelicans and other birds that have been inspiring me lately since I moved to the country. I keep going back to birds, and this is the typical “windy road” behaviour of mine. I will release a Zoo range in the future….I just gotta stop getting distracted by other things, but I am happy for people to know that it’s coming.
We love that ethical printing practises are important to you. Tell us a bit about your effort to create pieces people can feel good about collecting and keeping and what the future of Pete Cromer looks like.
Yes, I always try to be mindful of the environment and how I, as a business, can minimise the impact I have on it. My business is constantly evolving (I love learning), so I like to see how I can apply new methods and practises to how I create my works, to how they are printed, to how they are packaged and how I run my studio. I just saw some compostable mailer bags that excited me lol. It’s the process of travelling in the right direction, little by little.